Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5330 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Gems from August 2010

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."
(1 John 3:2)

The sneer at the godly man for his imperfections is ill-judged. A blade is a small thing. At first it grows very near the earth. It is often soiled and crushed and down-trodden. But it is a living thing. The great dead stone beside it is more imposing; only it will never be anything else than a stone. But this small blade - it doth not yet appear what it shall be. (A Thought for Every Day -Henry Drummond)

N.J. Hiebert - 4146

August 1

"A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside . . . some fell upon a rock . . . some fell among thorns . . . and other fell on good ground . . ."
(Luke 8:5-8)

The seed is sown indiscriminately, and although man rejects it because his will is opposed, nevertheless it is sown in his heart, for this parable shows how the Word of God is perfectly adapted to the need of man, meeting his conscience and heart. "Never man spake like this Man" (John 7:46). Christ's Word came with a power that reached the heart and affections; the will is corrupt, and therefore resists it.

It is not abstract grace here, but the condition of man that is recognized, therefore we find the Word so perfectly suited to the need, not claiming righteousness from man, but coming in with power to show him that he is a sinner, and laying open the thoughts and intents of the heart. When the heart is thus detected the Word comes with all gentleness and comfort for healing and rest, because there is grace to meet a soul in whatever state it may be found. The heart is spoken to, and therefore the Gospel leaves man without excuse. (The Man of Sorrows - JND)

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August 2

"In God I will praise His word; in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."
(Psalm 56:4)

He who would keep up intimate converse with the Lord must habitually find in the Scriptures the highway of such companionship. God's aristocracy, His nobility, the princes of His realm, are not the wise, mighty, and highborn of earth, but often the poor, weak, despised of men, who abide in His presence, and devoutly commune with Him through His inspired word.

Blessed are they who have thus learned to use the key which gives free access, not only to the King's Treasuries, but to the King Himself. (A.T. Pierson in "George Mueller of Bristol)

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August 3

"Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
(2 Corinthians 4:17)

It is blessed to be at the feet of Jesus in our sorrows, for there divine light shines upon them, and though we may suffer, and even be oppressed with our trials, we shall not, while there, doubt His love.

"Jesus wept." All know that the verses of of our Bible are merely a human arrangement, and yet who can doubt that the Spirit of God controlled the one who made it in putting these two words into one verse? They indeed should stand alone, inasmuch as they afford such an inlet into the recesses of the Lord's heart. They have been the comfort of mourners in all ages, and they will continue to minister consolation to His people until God Himself shall wipe all tears from their faces.
(Edward Dennett)

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August 4

"And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."
(2 Thessalonians 3:5)

This we must remember: faith is not a noble quality found only in superior men. It is not a virtue attainable by a limited few. It is not the quality to persuade ourselves that black is white or that something we desire will come to pass if we only wish hard enough.

Faith is simply the bringing of our minds into accord with the truth. It is adjusting our expectations to the promises of God in complete assurance that the God of the whole earth cannot lie.

As long as we question the wisdom of any of God's ways our faith is still tentative and uncertain. While we are able to understand, we are not quite believing. Faith enters when there is no supporting evidence to corroborate God's word of promise and we must put our confidence blindly in the character of the One who made the promise.

A man looks at a mountain and affirms, "that is a mountain." There is no particular virtue in the affirmation. It is simply accepting the fact that stands before him and bringing his belief into accord with the fact. The man does not create the mountain by believing, nor could he annihilate it by denying.

And so with the truth of God! The believing man accepts a promise of God as a fact as solid as a mountain and vastly more enduring. His faith changes nothing except his own personal relation to the word of promise. God's Word is true whether we believe it or not. Human unbelief cannot alter the character of God! (Renewed Day by Day - A.W.T.)

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August 5

"For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day."
(Matthew 12:8)

The sabbath belonged to the old creation; the Lord's day belongs to the new.

The sabbath was a day of bodily rest for the Jew; the Lord's day is a day of spiritual rest for the Christian. If the Jew worked on the sabbath, he was to be put to death; if the Christian does not work on the Lord's day, he gives little proof of life. (Food for the Desert)

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August 6

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
(John 8:32)

“If you don’t stand for the truth you will fall for a lie.”

"Faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood it can and often does lead to tragedy."
(A. W. Tozer)

Prayer is never an acceptable substitute for obedience. The sovereign Lord accepts no offering from His creatures that is not accompanied by obedience. To pray while ignoring or actually flouting the plain precept laid down in the Scriptures is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble."
(A.W. Tozer)

"Of all forms of deception self-deception is the most deadly, and of all deceived persons the self-deceived are the least likely to discover the fraud!"
(A. W. Tozer)

"It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills. It is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling a lie.”
(Adrian Rogers)

"There must come with the decision for truth a corresponding protest against error."
(Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Jude 1:3
(Submitted by a reader of the "Gems" S.L.)

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August 7

“…without faith it is impossible to please him…”
(Hebrews 11:6)

“…the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
(Galatians 2:20)

The simplicity of a life of faith has charms that they do not know who never tried it. One does not get rid of the difficulties of the path of faith by trying to avoid them, one must surmount them by the power of God. A difficulty may be a real one, but it is only for the unbelief of hearts that it is an obstacle, if on the path of God's will; for faith reckons upon God . . . and difficulties are as nothing before Him. Experience ought to strengthen faith; but there must be a present faith to use experience. It is by faith that God is honoured. (JND - submitted by a reader, SL)

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August 8


". . . did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, 'True, O king.' He answered and said, 'Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the SON OF GOD'."
(Daniel 3:24,25)

If you cannot see Christ with you in the furnace, you can be quite sure He is there. What though I were in the deep three days and three nights, if I have Christ with me there? Whatever the place I am brought into, I shall find sweetness if He is with me. Do not let Christ have the second place! It is to be nothing else than Christ and you, and you and Christ, all the way through the wilderness. Let Him always be the only object before your mind. Refuse to see anything save with Him. Having Him you will find strength for everything. (Gleanings of G.V. Wigram)

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August 9

"He said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest . . . and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
(Genesis 22:2)

Read the verse again and omit "son" which is not in the original. Do you not feel the emotion, the love and warmth as God says, "your only Isaac"? This was the promised son and the heir apparent. How could any father offer his son? Abraham was a true worshipper. He believed God even when he did not understand. He rested fully when he didn't understand. No matter the severity of life's difficulties, let us be true worshippers and bow before our Sovereign. By His grace let us rest on His faithful promises. (James Comte)

We may trust Him fully, all for us to do -
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true
.

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August 10

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36)

In the independent republic of Singapore people speak about the Singapore Dream of five C's -- cash, condominium, car, career and club membership. A person may have all of these and more, but have absolutely nothing with the most important C - Christ. True riches are alone found in Him. What about you? Do you have Christ as your Saviour and Lord? (W. Ross Rainey)

Now none but Christ can satisfy,
None other name for me;
There's love, and life, and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee
.

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August 11

"To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do."
(Romans 7:18-19)

If souls would be honest, many would confess that this has been their condition for years - a condition which brings no glory to God and no happiness to themselves. What is the cause? Simply the mistake of thinking that all depends upon their own efforts instead of accepting the truth that they are utterly without strength, and that, therefore, everything depends upon God. (Edward Dennett - Footprints for Pilgrims)

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August 12

"Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."
(Isaiah 30:21)

When we are in doubt or difficulty, when many voices urge this course or the other, when prudence utters one advice and faith another, then let us be still, hushing each intruder, calming ourselves in the sacred hush of God's presence; let us study His Word in the attitude of devout attention; let us lift up our nature into the pure light of His face, eager only to know what God the Lord shall determine - and ere long a very distinct impression will be made, the unmistakable forth-telling of His secret counsel.

Are you in difficulty about your way? Go to God with your question; get direction from the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal.

If you only get alone, where the lights and shadows of earth cannot interfere, where human opinions fail to reach - and if you will dare to wait there silent and expectant, though all around you insist on immediate decision or action - the will of God will be made clear; and you will have a new conception of God, a deeper insight into His nature and heart of love, which shall be for your self alone - a rapturous experience, to abide your precious perquisite forever, the rich guerdon of those long waiting hours. (Streams in the Desert)

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August 13

"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you."
(John 15:15)

(The word for servants is "bondmen.") Jesus says, in effect, "I love to take you into My confidence." "I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you." You know how you feel about your friends. Most of us do not have a great many friends. There are just a few folks whom we take right into our hearts, and we talk of them as our friends. We do not like to share our secrets with everyone. But when we get a real, intimate friend, we love to share the secret things of our heart with that friend. So the Lord Jesus Christ says, "I am calling you My friends." Oh, how He opens up His heart and makes known His precious things to His friends.

We give our friends privileges that we do not give to strangers. So He says, "For all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you." (John 15:16) In other words, He wants His own to enter into such an intimate sense of fellowship and communion with Himself that they may go to the Father in His name and, as friends offer their petitions in that name and the Father will delight to hear and fulfill, because it glorifies the name of Jesus. (H.A. Ironside - Gospel of John)

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August 14

The Years of His Right Hand

"I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High" (Psalm 77:10)

I remember the years of His hand's deep shadow
- The sun was darkened, the stars were veiled,
The glory of life was a fading flower,
And mirth was over and music failed;

But in that shade I was safely hidden,
From wind and tempest I knew release,
And for the old, new songs were given,
My heart learned patience, my soul found peace.

"I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10)

I remember the years of His hand's upholding
- Its help how mighty, its clasp how strong;
Almost I slipped when my feet were sliding,
Almost I fell when the way was long;

But never once did His strength forsake me,
And when I leaned on His wondrous might,
On wings I mounted, I ran unwearied,
I walked unfainting, by day or night.

"Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee" (Deuteronomy 8:2)

I remember the years of His hand's sure leading
- How safe His guidance, His ways how wise;
Often my thoughts and my heart would wander,
My feet would follow my straying eyes;

But never once did His patience fail me,
And through it all did His love restrain,
And when I followed where He would lead me,
How all the way and the end grew plain.

"I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands" (Isaiah 49:16)

I remember the years of His hand's safe keeping
- When danger threatened or sin beset,
When, the rudder fallen from nerveless fingers,
My life-bark drifted where wild seas met;

But through it all did His power keep me,
And now I know, when my foes assail.
Strong to deliver, He waits to succor,
And prays for me lest my faith should fail.

"The Lord . . . will hear . . . from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand" (Psalm 20:6)

Oh, I know that my name on Thy palms is graven,
I remember the years of Thy hand, Most High:
How it has sheltered and held and guided
'Neath clouded heaven or open sky;

I lean on Thine arm and Thy hand upholds me,
Its power protects and its strength defends;
Still it shall hide me and keep and lead me
Till home is reached and the journey ends.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

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August 15

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(1 John 1:9)

Are you for any reason suffering under the governmental hand of God? Then, Christian friend, beware that Satan does not drive you to despair. Ignorant, feeble, and imperfect creatures, if we accept life we must also accept regret; but regret becomes a demon when it drives us to despair. It is important to remember that no momentary folly, however glaring, no isolated act, however grievous, can fix a destiny. Individual words or actions do not constitute the whole life of a man; they are often not fair representatives of even a portion of that life. The swift deed is done in a moment of unreasoning passion, and entails shame and suffering of which the actor never dreamed; but since he would give all he possesses to recall it, he must not allow it to hold him permanently in dejection and gloom.

If it be noble in our hearts to keep
The memory of our faults, and weigh them well,
And in their room plant virtues; nevermore
Can it be right and praiseful, with long fret
For past misdeeds to undermine the heart,
And lame the springs of action
.
(Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

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August 16

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
(2 Corinthians 4:17)

Recently I read about a bush that grows in the desert. This bush produces seeds, which must be damaged before they will grow. The shells of the seeds are hard, and coated with a waxy substance that protects them and keeps them dry. These seeds often lie dormant on the desert floor for many years before conditions are right for them to grow. When the torrential desert storms and flash floods come, these little seeds are carried down the slopes, bounced, banged and bruised against the rocks as they go. Only then do they begin to germinate as the seeds begin to absorb moisture through the cuts, nicks and scratches they receive in their journey through the stormy floodwaters.

In much the same way, God uses the storms of life to grow us up spiritually. Life's bumps, bruises, nicks and scratches may hurt for a while, but if we are exercised thereby, they can also mark the beginning of spiritual advances, as God works a work in us to grow and mature us to be more like Christ. (Submitted by a reader - SL -Aug 5, 2010)

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August 17

"Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God."
(Hebrews 10:7)

It is a blessed thing for people to be brought into living connection with Christ Himself; if they sleep, He never does: If they fail, He never fails. He will be as tender and gracious as possible; but whatever He sees that Divine glory requires, He will give an ear to hear on that point.

You could never tell what Christ would have you to be about, but if you go with Him in everything, there will be consistency with the ways of Christ. If you go with self you will find a stop.

Nothing so enables the soul to separate between that which is of the flesh and that which is of the Spirit, as having the eye single for Christ. And if occupied with Him, it will be, "Lo, I come to do Thy will." (Gleanings - G.V. Wigram)

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August 18

There is Finality in the Biblical Revelation

"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." (Hebrews 2:1)

There are men in our day who have studied the Bible and come to the conclusion that since God is vocal in His universe, there is no such thing as an inspired cannon of Scripture containing a full body of revealed truth that can serve as the one final source of doctrine and practice.

These teachers reason that if God is still speaking, then we must keep our minds open to further revelation given, it may be, through poets, philosophers, scientists and religionists of various kinds. They would insist that wherever new truth is discovered or new and advanced ideas are brought forth, there God is speaking again as He once spoke by the prophet and seer in olden times.

However, one thing is settled: whoever, for whatever reason, denies the finality of the biblical revelation and insists upon a continuing revelation having the same authority as the sacred Scriptures has shut himself out from the name of Christian! He is simply not a Christian in the scriptural and historic meaning of the word.

Between the ideas of a fixed biblical canon and a constantly speaking God there is no contradiction! The point I make is that if the living voice of God were not speaking in the world and in the hearts of men the written Word could have no real meaning for us. (A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day By Day)

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August 19

"The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God . . ."
(2 Thessalonians 3:5)

Scriptures tell us that God is great, and we see the greatness in His created earth and sky. But how can we fathom the greatness of that little word "SO" in John 3:16? "For God so loved the world . . ." Webster defines it as a degree of measurement. No human gauge invented can measure the immensity of God's love! We see a glimpse of it in Christ's incarnation, His sinless walk upon earth, His crucifixion and resurrection. But someday, the total sum - the completeness of that love will be revealed. Let us today praise Him for that exceeding great and boundless love for each one of us. (Selected)

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August 20

". . . let us eat and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry." (Luke 15:23,24)

It is not: Let him eat and be merry. Again, he says, "It was meet that we should make merry and be glad." There was but one exception to the delight in the house. The elder brother (the self-righteous person) was angry, and would not go in. God had shown what He was in Himself, by His Son, in thus receiving the prodigal, and now He would show what they were in themselves. We know the Pharisees murmured from the beginning, and the elder brother had no communion with his father, for if the father was happy, why was not he happy too?

The elder brother was angry, and would not go in. If such a vile person as the publican gets in that makes my righteousness go for nothing. It is truly so. For where God's happiness is, there self-righteousness cannot come. If God is good to the sinner, what avails my righteousness? He had no sympathy with his father. He ought to have said my father is happy, so I must be. There should have been communion in the joy. "Thy brother is back." That ought to have rung on his heart. (JND - The Man of Sorrows.)

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August 21

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
(2 Corinthians 4:17)

Notice the many striking contrasts in these verses. First observe the contrast between perishing and being renewed. "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." The outward man perisheth. How well we know that! What is the outward man? It is the physical man, the body, and many of us realize that the outward man is perishing. There is not the elasticity in the step that there used to be, there is is not the physical vigor that there once was. We tire a great deal more easily than we did some years ago. We do not remember things as well as we once did.

Some of us have noticed a very strange thing about memory. We can recall very vividly things that happened away back in our early years; we remember the little incidents of childhood days, we remember the people who were kind to us in those days, and some of us have never gotten over the remembrance of those who were very unkind to us. We remember very vividly the experiences of our early school-days and many of our early spiritual experiences, the time when God spoke to our young hearts, the exercises we went through, and then the moment of decision when we accepted Christ. These things we remember very well, but have a great deal of difficulty remembering what happened yesterday.

The inward man is the spirit, the soul, the the real man, regenerated by the power of the Holy Ghost. The body gets weaker and weaker, but the inward man gets stronger and stronger. The nearer we get to heaven, the more real the precious things of the Lord become to us. (H.A. Ironside)

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August 22

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)

The beloved songwriter, John W. Peterson, was a master at using Scripture in his songs. When I was a teenager, we sang "Jesus is Coming" and sang these words taken from 2 Timothy 3:1 "In the last days perilous times shall come. Men shall be lovers of themselves." Then he wrote of the grim signs that we would recognize in the last days (vv. 2-7). The steady cadence of his music helps me remember that list even today.

While some of us have trouble memorizing verses from God's Word, something in our brain helps us to remember words in songs. If we analyze some of our favorite Christian songs and choruses, we find that they have been derived from Scripture. Thus, we can use the memory boost of music to hide away God-breathed words in our hearts (2 Timothy 3:16). Songs such as "Open the Eyes of My Heart" (Isaiah 6:9-10; Ephesians 1:18) or favorites like "Thy Word Have I Hid in My heart" (Psalm 119:11, 105) are taken from the Bible. With these words hidden in our memory, a song of praise comes quickly to our lips.

No matter what kind of voice you have, when you sing the words of Scripture back to God, it is sweet music to His ears. (Selected)

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August 23

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13)

Among Christians there is a famine of spiritual giants. There are many fine men, but where is the prophet in the wilderness who rises above party to challenge men, with "thus saith the Lord"? We have become part of a vast and complicated system and we utter its voice and champion its policies. Even the ministry has become too much a regulated arrangement of promotions where loyalty to one sort of hierarchy or another is indispensable to success, and where to be different often brings the criticism of the higher-ups.

Bible preachers learned early the lesson of standing alone.

- Enoch and Noah in a corrupt generation;
- Moses amidst a grumbling people;
- Elijah, as rugged as his mountain retreats;
- Isaiah and Jeremiah in a decadent nation;
- Amos, the country preacher who "scandalized" the kings chapel and court by his flaming messages of judgment;
- Daniel in a foreign land;
- John the Baptist, the lone prophet of a religious but unspiritual day;
- Paul, the "fool for Christ's sake," the homeless trailblazer of the gospel.

These belonged to no category, fitted into no established order; they were God's odd numbers. It is not easy so to live. It is dangerous and risky and it is easy to be led into it to please one's own peculiar whims, rather than for Christ's sake. Paul speaks of those who were "somewhat in conference" (Galatians 2:6). Being somewhat in conference becomes too easily an ideal. It is still well to heed the Lord's viewpoint about loving the chief seats in synagogues and to be called rabbi.

The high altitudes are still uncrowded. Diplomacy, tact, and cleverness, the ability to fall in with trends and capitalize situations - these sometimes rate more highly with us than loyalty to God. It is still costly to be faithful to the heavenly vision. He who so aspires had better discipline his soul for solitude. (Vance Havner - In Tune With Heaven - June 25, 1933)

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August 24

"Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him."
(Matthew 25:6)

The early Christians not only accepted the doctrine of the Lord's coming as truth, but it was to them such a reality that they "went forth to meet the bridegroom." The Lord's return was their hope. It produced desires after the Lord Himself. They looked for the Saviour. It was to them the "blessed hope." They felt it to be an eminently practical doctrine. They waited for God's Son from heaven. This was manifesting the truth to every man's conscience in the sight of God; and will not this always be the case when the truth is held in the love of it?

But one of the most flagrant sins in Christendom, which Scripture has marked out, is the "evil servant" saying "in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming." It is not openly denying the doctrine, and joining the infidel in scoffing, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? but, while professedly holding the doctrine, to so let slip the hope as to indulge in fleshly lusts and worldly associations, because in heart such believe He is not coming for some time yet. It must then be a deeply important matter that we make no mistake as to the true state of our hearts, that we are day by day so taken up with Christ Himself in heaven, as to desire to see His face; that His coming again is such a hope to our souls that we are practically acting like those who, having heard the midnight cry, are going out to meet Him. (Christian Truth - Volume 22 - January 1969)

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August 25

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."
(Galatians 5:22,23)

Kindness comes from a lovely Greek word, "Chreestos." Christ in Greek is "Christos." The sound is almost the same. In the old days, the people used to say that "Christians" (from the name Christ which we bear) were also "Chreestians (from Chreestos, meaning kind), because the Christians were known for their kindness to others. This is just as it should be; and I hope that every one of us may be Chreestians, as well as Christians: This is the word, translated "easy", used by our Lord to describe His yoke.

"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
(Matthew 11:29,30)

We use "easy" in this sense for the comfort of an old, well-fitting shoe, that does not hurt the foot in any part; so should the Christian be to those with whom he has to do. (G. Christopher Willis - Meditations on Galatians)

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August 26

"Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died . . . Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die."
(John 11:21,25,26)

What a glorious vindication of His delay that was! And thus it was on every like occasion; whether challenged or rebuked, there is never the recalling of a word, nor the retracing of a step. Every tongue that rises in judgment against Jesus, He condemns. The mother rebukes him in Luke 2; but instead of making good her charge, she has to listen to Him convicting the darkness and error of her thoughts.

Peter takes upon him to admonish Him: "This be far from Thee, Lord; this shall not be unto Thee." But Peter has to learn, that it was Satan himself that in Peter prompted the admonition.

The officer in the palace of the High priest goes still further, correcting Him, and smiting Him on the cheek. But he is convicted of breaking the rules of judgment in the very face and place of judgment. (J.B. Bellett - The Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ)

N.J. Hiebert - 4172

August 27

"These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth."
(Revelation 3:7)

It is not at the threshold of life that life reveals its beauty; it is after you have climbed the stairs.

The day has been long,
But the hour is now late;
Weary was the road,
But at the end is the gate!

Down the dim vista
Of time that was far,
Ever the vision
Of the gate ajar!

Late is the hour
But morning will break . . .
Naught but the shining door
When we awake!
(Lois Snelling)

God's hand rests upon all gates. He opens the right one at the right time.
(Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4173

August 28

"The Lord said unto him, thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed."
(Joshua 13:1)

God never throws a man aside because he is old. Joshua was not perhaps as vigorous with the sword as he had been; so God gives him a new bit of work now. He virtually says, "Take the pen and map out the land. There is much land to be possessed. Only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance ."

According to our years and strength, God will keep us busy. There is no discharge in this war. We may be old as men, but God would like us to be young and green and fresh at heart.

Those that within the house of God,
Are planted by His grace,
They shall grow up and flourish all
In our God's holy place
.

God will not cast you away. He will not pay you off. There are not superannuates in God's ranks. He will use you and keep you as busy as ever. Although you may have to come in off the field of battle, although you may have to reduce your outward activities, although you may have to lie upon your bed, God will give you divinely suitable work in your quietly closing years. (Traveling Toward Sunrise)

N.J. Hiebert - 4174

August 29

"If then ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
(Colossians 3:1)

An officer in the American Flying Corps says: "I was our over the ocean alone, and I saw in the distance, coming rapidly toward me, a storm that was blacker than midnight; the inky clouds seemed to be coming on with lightning rapidity. I knew I could not reach shore ahead of the storm. I looked down to the ocean to see if I could go underneath the cloud and perhaps alight on the sea, but the ocean was already boiling with fury. Knowing that the only thing to do was to rise above it, I turned my frail craft straight up toward the sky, and let her mount 1,000, 2,000, 2,500, 3,000, 3,500 feet, and then the storm struck me.

It was a hurricane, a cyclone, and a typhoon all in one! The sky became as black as midnight. I never saw blackness like that. I could not see a thing. Rain came in torrents, the snow began to fly, the hail struck like bullets. I was 4,000 feet up in the air. I knew there was only one thing to do, and that was to keep on climbing. So I climbed to 6,500 feet; then suddenly I was swept out into sunlight and glory such as I had never seen in this world before. The clouds were all below me. The sapphire sky was bending low above me in amazing splendor. It seemed the glory of another world; I immediately began to repeat Scripture to myself, and in the heavens above the clouds I worshiped God."

We have not lived the highest, we have not pursued the best; we have gone after the butterflies instead of trying to fly with the eagles; we have learned the lesson of the snail rather than the lesson of high mountain-climbing into the skies. May God have mercy on us! (The Climb to God)

God made us to soar like eagles, but we are content to scratch like sparrows.
(Mountain Trailways for Youth)

N.J. Hiebert - 4175

August 30

"And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you."
(Luke 17:6)

To remove a tree from the earth and replace it in the unstable sea, would not be so great a marvel, as to transplant the forgiving and pardoning nature of the Lord Jesus, and make it grow and blossom in our once unbelieving hearts. This is truly a demonstration of power and grace. He has done it for us. As we consider it, let us worship Him today. (Drew Craig - Choice Gleanings)

N.J. Hiebert - 4176

August 31

"He hath done all things well: He maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak."
(Mark 7:37)

This glowing tribute was made to our Lord, following the healing of a man who had both hearing and speech problems. How good it is to find that the whole of Scripture endorses this verdict! Indeed, there is no other person of whom it may truthfully be said, "He has done all things well." In this happy assurance our hearts find deep peace. Our eternal security is in the hands of One who cannot fail! (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4177

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